From Nuclear Powers Pennsylvania
Note: The Columbia Montour Chamber is part of Nuclear Powers Pennsylvania, a statewide coalition that works to educate all Pennsylvanians about the economic and environmental benefits of nuclear energy and the industry’s position impact on local communities throughout the Keystone State.
Pennsylvania’s five nuclear power plants support more than 500 companies and 16,000 jobs across the Commonwealth. Last week, on Wednesday, Feb. 6, representatives from several of those companies traveled to Pennsylvania’s State Capitol to showcase their innovation, highlight their impact on industry employment, and call for policy reforms that would properly value nuclear in the state. Earlier this week, lawmakers from the state House and Senate announced their intent to introduce legislation in the coming weeks that would maintain the state’s nuclear fleet by recognizing the environmental attributes of nuclear power.
Nuclear Powers Pennsylvania (NPP), a statewide coalition that works to educate all Pennsylvanians about the many benefits of nuclear energy, hosted the event. In attendance were representatives from: AECOM; Curtiss-Wright; Day & Zimmerman; Framatome; GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy; Holtec; Jensen Hughes; Master-Lee Energy Services Corp; NAC International; Precision Custom Components; and Westinghouse. Altogether, these companies employ more than 6,000 Pennsylvanians, many of them in highly skilled family sustaining jobs such as engineers, welders, machinists and many more.
“Nuclear power is clean, safe and affordable electricity that generates economic and environmental benefits for everyone,” said event emcee Fred Gaffney, president of the Colombia Montour Chamber of Commerce and NPP member. “And as demonstrated during last week’s extreme cold temperatures, it’s incredibly reliable, too! The industry sustains some 500 companies that help to support our five nuclear plants. We are delighted to have many of them here at the Capitol today to underscore the innovation and outstanding workmanship provided by their thousands of employees, and to call on state lawmakers to do all they can to preserve this industry in Pennsylvania. We must maintain these nuclear plants for the future of our Commonwealth.”
Pennsylvania today ranks second in the nation for nuclear power generating capacity, owed to a long tradition of nuclear energy leadership and technological innovation. Nuclear energy is the single greatest contributor to Pennsylvania’s energy generation portfolio, producing 42 percent of the state’s electricity, while accounting for 93 percent of the Commonwealth’s clean power. However, that production is threatened with news that at least two of Pennsylvania’s five nuclear plants are preparing for premature closure without a legislative remedy. According to Pennsylvania’s bipartisan Nuclear Energy Caucus report, Pennsylvania consumers are estimated to pay $788 million more each year if nuclear energy is not maintained in the Commonwealth.
“The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has an extensive history as a leader in nuclear energy and technological innovation,” said David Howell, Westinghouse president, Americas Operating Plant Services. “More than six decades ago, the first commercial nuclear power plant in the United States began operations in Shippingport, Pennsylvania. Today, Westinghouse is proud to continue the legacy of nuclear power innovation in Pennsylvania, and the role that nuclear energy plays in the supply of safe, clean and reliable electricity.”